Ever since I was a young child I experienced abnormal amounts of anxiety. I suffered with obsessive and intrusive thoughts as well as separation anxiety. It was terrifying to experience as a young child, but it was all I had ever known. At night, I would almost never sleep. I had an over-active, but vivid imagination, racing thoughts, and fears of going to school. There were many times that I just did not attend school due to the extreme amounts of anxiety and discomfort I was feeling. At the time, my parents and teachers just thought I was defiant and didn’t want to come to school, but it was honestly almost near impossible for me to go. Around age 8, my parents were proactive and took me to see a psychiatrist and therapist because they knew that something wasn’t right. The first psychiatrist and therapist I had seen weren’t helpful and didn’t see anything wrong with the behaviors I had been exhibiting. When my parents took me to see a different psychiatrist, a highly rated one, for a second opinion, he determined a diagnosis after a couple of years of observation, talking with me and my parents, and trying different medications. I was then officially diagnosed at the age of 12 with bipolar NOS (rapid-cycling) and a severe anxiety disorder.
It seemed like after the diagnosis is when the disorder worsened. My teen years were a living hell and it felt as though they were wasted with doctors appointments, consuming dozens of medications, hospitalizations, and feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. It seemed like those years of pain and struggle would last forever. It wasn’t until after high school, which was a traumatic time for me, that I began to mellow out some and was able to try to take control of my life.
Today, I haven’t done this well in a very long while or ever. I feel as though I can finally start to live and enjoy my life which was very difficult for me to do previously. About a year ago, I started experiencing an increase in mixed episodes, but primarily depression. Depression has been one of my main obstacles at this point in time. There will just be some plain, awful days where I won’t feel like doing anything or just can’t do much at all. I try to rest and wait out the low moments and try to keep in mind that they don’t last forever, but some days are quite tough as many may understand. My mania isn’t too severe and never has been, but at times I do get hyper, talk a mile a minute, can’t sleep, laugh constantly, and experience quite a bit of anxiety and worries. Things haven’t been terribly unmanageable at this point in time though and I am incredibly thankful for that.